This post is bitter sweet on many levels for me. First on Dad's passing. I don't think that death is something you are ever fully prepared to deal with, no matter how expected or unexpected it is. This one was quite unexpected. Dad's overall health had been getting gradually worse over the past few years. Diabetes and a nasty concussion had taken a toll on him physically. Recently he had made some comments to others that sometimes the pain was just too much and that at times he thought that it might just be easier to give up. For Dad to admit that to anyone says allot. We now suspect that he was hiding from us how he really felt because he didn't want us to worry. But I know where he is now and whatever pain he was in is now gone. While this is comforting to know it doesn't make it any easier to accept. I've been through all 4 of my grandparents deaths, but this was far and away the most difficult. I've come to the conclusion that my feeble earthly ADULT mind just can't comprehend the glory that is heaven. I envy my son Ben because he gets it. He wasn't really sad thru this ordeal. At one point he and I were driving in the car and he asked why I was so sad. I told him it was because I was not going to get to see Pops anymore and he told me that "its okay, we'll go see him one day". He gets it. It really is a time to rejoice because we will see each other again someday. A friend of ours from Houston sent me a note saying that losing a parent changes you forever. I agree. I don't think I will ever be the same. A piece of me died on early Wednesday morning when we got the call.
The second aspect of this ordeal that makes this bittersweet is the outpouring of love and concern that our friends and church family gave us. I am humbled beyond words and it brings tears to my eyes when I think of what people have done and continue to do for my family and especially for my Mom. To those in Calgary who offered to drive us to the airport at the crack of dawn. To my 2 college friends and their wives that dropped what they were doing and came to the funeral - I cannot put into words how much your presence meant to me at the funeral and I will NEVER forget it. To Rochelle, we can't say thank you enough for the childcare you provided. My heart is touched that you would come up to do that. And to my mother-in-law, I know it meant so much to Mom that you flew out to be with us during this time and we are so appreciative. To all of the current and former church and work friends of the family, the hugs and wishes really helped. If you know me well, that says allot. I don't do hugs outside of my immediate family, but the past few days I've hugged many people and each one of them was a huge encouragement and lifted me up. But most of all, I want to thank my wife Carrie. She carried me through this weekend and pretty much did everything that I was just not in any shape to do. Please continue to pray for my Mom as she now has to transition into this new life.
Now for the title of this post. As you know, we were here just a few short weeks ago and had a great visit with my parents. Dad was even getting down in the floor and playing with the boys which is something that he hasn't done in awhile. After we left, Mom mentioned that he must have been feeling better but he said, "No, not really. I just wanted to do it." At some point this week Carrie and Ben were talking and Ben said, "I'm glad we got to have one last play with Pops before heaven."
Me too son.
I love you so much Dad and I will miss you every day until we see you again.
Here are a pictures from that last visit that didn't make the post from our last visit in TX.